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Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War [Paperback]

By David Cortright (Author)
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Item description for Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War by David Cortright...

This book -- on the historic resistance of GIs and veterans against the Vietnam War -- is vital for understanding the overstretched U.S. military and opposition to the invasion and occupation of Iraq among soldiers and their families today.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   364
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2005
Publisher   Haymarket Books
ISBN  1931859272  
ISBN13  9781931859271  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Cortright

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Cortright is president of the Fourth Freedom Forum and a research fellow at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author or editor of twelve books, including A Peaceful Superpower: The Movement Against War in Iraq (2004). Howard Zinn is the author of the best-selling People's History Of The United States (over a million copies sold), and numerous other works of history, politics, and biography.

David Cortright currently resides in the state of New Hampshire. David Cortright was born in 1946 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Asia > Vietnam > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Military > Vietnam War
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War?

Sorry About That  Apr 13, 2008
I started to protest the Vietnam War in Sept. of 1967. Long before the
Winter Soldier start up.
I can't find any news stories about S.P.D.s???
Let this also be part of the history...
Sorry About That.

On December 20, 2004 the Department of Veterans Affairs, granted me full disability as a result of what happened to me in the service. I was diagnosed under the `Decision'
"Service connection for bipolar disorder is granted and the disability is combined with your evaluation for posttraumatic stress disorder." This is unique because I am the first serviceman granted as having PTSD cause my bipolar. My PTSD was caused from trauma, I incurred while in combat...
My bipolar on the other hand incurred while serving out my time stateside. You see, what happened to me after I made it home was far more stressful and horrifying than anything I experienced in combat.
What makes this interesting is that if it wasn't for the Freedom of Information Act, I couldn't prove anything. While I was still in the military and after I was released from their custody I tried in vein to seek help for my condition to no avail. I felt that there was something wrong with me and was concerned enough to seek help.
Here's the rub; that was back in 1967.
Granted, the military did not know anything about PTSD or bipolar in those days. So I was just pushed along as being a disgruntled grunt. `Sorry About That' boy, now get on with your life. So be it, I felt...
It is not my style to bore you with `my' Vietnam experience. You know all too well we all have a story to tell. {Blah, blah, blah}.
Saying that, I believe many people do not realize that less than 6% of Vietnam veterans saw any actual combat doing their tour. And even fewer were involved in hand to hand
hard core combat. Lets say, maybe 1%? I can say with confidence I am in the 1% club.
Within 72 hours of landing in Saigon, I was fighting for my life. My experience is noted in the book the fields of bamboo by General S.L.A. Marshall. (1971 The Dial Press). Starting on page 68, "A Romp In The Sun." this site dot COM books has it rated `Five Stars.' (Few years ago)
If that wasn't enough, I served as a door-gunner on a UH 1 B Gun Ship where I survived three crashes. I got my PTSD the old fashioned way, I earned it.
What I feel I did not earn, was my bipolar.
There were over "half a million" less than honorable discharges given from 1966 to 1973. It was as though many of us who had been in the war realized there was something wrong with what our country was doing and wanted out. {1967-1968 two hundred thousand courts martial took place}
Because the system was so overcrowded, makeshift "concentration camps" were set up around the country,{ Known as "Special Processing Detachments."} Aka, S.P.D's.
That's where I found myself, (1967- 1969) after I protested our country's involvement in the Vietnam War. Not, mind you in the streets, but rather, to my `Band of Brothers.'
Before I did this, I sought help from the military mental hygiene department at Fort Bragg while serving with the 82nd Airborne Pathfinders. (1967)
I told the so- called head shrink'ers. That I believed that the war was unconstitutional
That our country attacked a sovereign nation with malice and our commander-in-chief was not to be trusted and was in fact, using us to fight an immoral war. It was our duty to stop him at all cost and by any means. I told the head doctors that I had been informed as early as 1966 in the jungles of Vietnam by an ex OSS officer that there isn't any South Vietnam and Ho was the truly elected leader of his country. I was also told that China was Vietnam's number one enemy and has been for over a thousand years. In fact, some of what I was told back in 1966 was to come out later in the Pentagon Papers.
I was told many things that turned out to be the case. (Too many, to take your time here).
However, this I do know and believed in 1966, that if China was Vietnam's number one enemy and Russia was China's enemy then we were not there fighting the communist threat. To my dismay, the two psychiatrists listening to me rant came unglued. They didn't think I was mad but rather delusional and had to be dealt with. I was sent back to my unit and held under house arrest. "For what", I asked? {murder, and spreading commie propaganda, to the troops, at Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base}.
I went ballistic. My military record, exemplary until then, begin turning black.
I would not stand to be held and or wait until the military tried to figure out just what to do with me. Acting stupid I thought I had no options. I then demanded a dishonorable discharge. (I felt the just deserts for an elite warrior participating in a dishonorable war).
No one would oblige. I was told I was simply confused. So to help matters along, I deserted the military in order to get what I wanted.
After being hounded by the FBI and government authorities I was turned in by my own family and friends. Being from Orange County, California, they were doing their duty and thought it was for my own good. Once in the grips of the military system, my life became worse than it had ever been in combat. Sadistic guards wanted to make an example of me because they believed I was a veteran who disgraced his uniform. I was tortured, stripped, and had a gun put to my head. I was thrown naked into solitary confinement where the shadow of the stars and stripes-{designs cut into the ceiling} - covered my body. I was forced to eat cereal and water from a bowl like a dog while others watched. I witnessed other prisoners being tortured and murdered.
`Abu Ghraib in spades'. Right here in America back in 1967 the military guards did the same things to U.S. soldiers in stockades across the country. I survived in and escaped from three stockades and four courts martial. I witnessed the same treatment from guards at every stockade I was in.
I do not feel sorry for myself. I joined the military and volunteered to go to Vietnam. I was proud and excited to become a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne. I loved it.
That is until I found out what was really going on `over there.' I was not to be part of the BRIGHT and Shinning Lie that was to be known as the Vietnam debacle.
Anyway, if you think another Vietnam story is not as interesting as our latest war so be it.

Richard F Denne
Vietnam Veterans For Peace: A History of Resistance  Mar 14, 2006
David Cortright originally wrote his hidden history of resistance within the U.S. Armed Forces to the Vietnam War in 1975. Thanks to Howard Zinn for rescuing it from the memory hole of information warfare.

Cortright's thesis is that the U.S. military in Vietnam resisted the war on a massive scale. By 1969, the enlistees took the lead over the draftees in opposition to the war. Stateside, enlistees had formed protest organizations at most bases in all the branches of the military. The enlistee resistance movement produced over 200 G.I. newspapers such as "All Hands Abandon Ship" and "Harass the Brass". Enlistees also organized off-base meetings in coffee houses and staged demonstrations against the war. Over in Vietnam, "survival politics" led to refusals to engage the Vietnamese in combat, avoidance of making contact with the Vietnamese, and 12 mini-mutinies of companies and platoons.

This is an important history. When the peace movement pressured the government to get out of Vietnam, it was to be a time of peace - especially for the U.S. military. Later the Berlin Wall fell and the Warsaw Pact was disintegrating. The Soviet threat was neutralized by its own perestroika. Then came the Bushes, Clinton and their wars and monthly bombings in Iraq non-stop during the last 15 (that's right - fifteen) years.

This latest Iraq invasion and occupation has reached deeply into our communities. Fathers, and mothers, left their children only to end up killing children in a land whose inhabitants had never made a threat to us. Worse, some troops engaged in shameful tortures.

Bush should be impeached now for his war crimes. And after that, one more thing remains: bringing the troops home to their children and our apologies.
Vietnam's organized opposition from within the ranks  Mar 13, 2006
Students of the Vietnam War have many, many histories and analyses to choose from: now SOLDIERS IN REVOLT: GI RESISTANCE DURING THE VIETNAM WAR provides yet another angle, and is the first to explore in depth the process of organized opposition and resistance that undermined U.S. military attacks. It was a uniquely American movement at home and abroad which helped bring the war to an end: SOLDIERS IN REVOLT focuses on the rebellion WITHIN the U.S. military, from front lines to stateside.
Wonderful Addition For Anyone Studying Vietnam  Jan 9, 2006
This is a re-issue of an older book (early 1970's), this book is still relavant because much of its contents are not recognized by many people. It tells the story of the dissent that brewed among the GI's in 'Nam. By no means universal, the dissent actually crippled America's ability to fight the war.

Neo-cons admit the truth of this book's comments every time they extol the greatness of an all-volunteer army as opposed to one formed by draftees. The truth of this book is exhibited by the armed forces' refusal to start a draft even as recruiting goals fail today. But the history books still do not speak of the widerspread GI revolt in Vietnam.
Behind the Walls  Oct 10, 2005
Timely new edition of pioneering 1975 study of GI resistance during the Vietnam war. Most younger Americans know about the anti-war movement from first-hand film accounts of the massive marches and sit-ins. Yet far fewer know the extent of resistance within the armed forces themselves. There are no video tapes of widespread clashes between MP's and GI protesters during war's peak period. Nor is there footage of crew members demonstrating aboard such elite ships as the USS Kitty Hawk, nor even from blue-collar vessels such as the USS Nitro (a humorous and inspiring episode). Yet the resistance in many instances proved doggedly disruptive. And despite silencing efforts by the Pentagon and its media allies, the war's outcome was seriously affected by thousands of courageous resisters in uniform, who, each in his own way, refused to support a murderous politicians' war.

Cortright exhaustively documents stateside developments from Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, to Camp Pendleton, California, plus the role of civilian supporters in facilitating the movement. Coverage of GI resistance in Vietnam is harder to document because of battlefield censorship. Nonetheless, revealing instances of fragging, combat avoidance, and conscience-baring convocations such as Winter Soldier are included and speak volumes. Cortright's approach is sympathetically objective, providing a good birdseye view of what was going on behind the general coverup. Morover, he's careful to point out those cultural factors which intensified resistance, including widespread racism for which black resisters bore the brunt. If there's a downside, it's the absence of subjective, first-hand accounts that would make the reader feel the oppressive weight of the war machine as it attempted to roll over those who would stand in its way. In addition, some material in Part II has dated and perhaps should have been elided, while a 2005 Postscript begs for comparisons with Iraq but proves somewhat disappointing.

Nonetheless, the length and breadth of resistance is meticulously set forth, along with some surprising results -- enlistees were more likely to resist than draftees; the least educated were more likely to physically resist than the more educated. But most importantly, the research shows a rapidly disintegrating fighting force that belies apologist claims that the war was lost because it was fought "with one arm tied behind us". No, the war was lost because it was one that should never have been fought in the first place, as increasing numbers of those participating came to realize, (not to discount the astonishing will of the Vietnamese people to resist Western neo-colonialism) . All in all, this is an excellent resource for those wondering what actually went on inside the processing centers, the training bases, and the killing fields during a tumultuous period that in so many ways is still with us.

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